Installing a smoke detector

Tucson Electric Power volunteers helped install free smoke detectors in the homes of limited-income Flowing Wells residents on Jan. 14.

Hundreds of homes received new smoke detectors during the two-day Install-a-Thon organized by the American Red Cross’ Southern Arizona Chapter. It was part of the national Home Fire Campaign, which has a goal of reducing deaths and injuries from home fires by 25 percent by 2020.

“We were very excited to have TEP’s help,” said Julia Dailey, Executive Director of the Southern Arizona Chapter.

Volunteers gathered at Homer Davis Elementary School before visiting homes to provide smoke alarms with 10-year batteries and fire safety tips. During the Install-a-Thon, volunteers put in a total of 370 smoke alarms and handed out 600 energy-efficient LED bulbs donated by TEP.

Narciso Mendoza, an Enterprise Content Management Technical Analyst at TEP who volunteered at the event, said he wanted to help senior citizens and others who are not able to install smoke detectors by themselves.

“The residents were really happy to receive the smoke alarms,” Mendoza said. “They feel a lot safer now in their homes.”

TEP learned about the opportunity to help with smoke detectors through its Community Impact Grants program, which awarded $250,000 last year to non-profit groups.

TEP gave $75,000 to the Community Home Repair Projects of Arizona, which works with organizations through the Safe at Home Coalition to identify seniors whose homes need smoke detectors and other repairs.

By helping with the smoke detector installations, volunteers identified homes that could qualify for other home repairs through the grant.

According to the Red Cross, seven people die and 36 people suffer injuries as a result of home fires every day.

Since starting in 2014, the Home Fire Campaign program has installed 619,945 smoke alarms and saved 131 lives, according to the campaign’s website.